The debate over Common Core has drawn a great deal of criticism over the last few months. The assignments leave not only parents, but teachers and other faculty members bothered and upset.[twitter-follow username=”staffordvoice” scheme=”light”]
One eighth-grade assignment in the Rialto Unified School District in California will certainly raise a few eyebrows.
“When tragic events occur in history, there is often debate about their actual existence. For example, some people claim the Holocaust is not an actual historical event, but instead is a propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain. Based upon your research on this issue, write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain. Remember to address counterclaims (rebuttals) to your stated claim. You are also required to use parenthetical (internal) citations and to provide a Works Cited page.”
Matthew Friedman, associate regional director of the Los Angeles office of the Anti-Defamation League, said in an email, “An exercise asking students to question whether the Holocaust happened has no academic value; it only gives legitimacy to the hateful and anti-Semitic promoters of Holocaust denial.”
The assignment is said to be under review, and in a statement from district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri said that Interim Superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam was set to talk with administrators to “assure that any references to the holocaust ‘not occurring’ will be stricken on any current or future Argumentative Research assignments.”